Friday, April 4, 2014
I had one of those childhoods that left me with a specific set of fears that are not necessarily rational, but are there anyway, waiting in the dark to reach up and grab me and slam me to the floor. The past 16 months I've had to face down several of them, and I discovered that one fear I thought I would face, wasn't a thing I feared after all.
Then I lost my job. Funny, in all of my life I have rarely had to fear losing my home (whatever that home was at the time) until now. The loss of my job threw me up against two fears, one known, one unknown.
The fear of hunger. When a child spends a large percentage of her first 12 years hungry, it makes an impressive impact on the mind. Just saying the word "diet" causes my brain to overreact to the thought of deprivation which equals hunger and sets me up for failure. I've learned to use other terminology...
Then there is the loss of the place I am living...I have a love/hate relationship with this apartment...It's old, it has issues, and management is often not responsive enough. But I poured a lot of sweat and an ocean of tears into my existence here and, when faced with the thought of losing this 587 square feet, I went into panic overload.
"What do I have to give away?" (How much more of myself embodied in my books and trinkets can I give away without losing myself...) "Where on God's earth will I store the few things I don't want to give away?" (my bed, my kitchen table, my dishes, my books, my trinkets...) "How many boxes can I fit in my car?" "Where will I be able to safely park my car AND sleep in it?"
And suddenly this little corner of the world, this little apartment with it's stained paint and no shower and bad plumbing becomes so very dear to my heart because it's MY corner of the world...the place that sheltered me through the storm of the last 16 months...the place where I painted things and decorated on my own for the very first time in my life EVER...the place where I feel safe and ME. And knowing I could lose this little corner of the world has been the most difficult fear I've face this past 16 months.
I couldn't breathe. I couldn't think. I could barely force myself out of bed in the morning...I was almost immobilized.
I'm just barely past the fear now...It's worked it's paralyzing self through me and man, I am so tired of my life collapsing beneath me that I cannot even EXPRESS it adequately. And I don't know how to live a life that doesn't shift and change like this...Even if I get another job next week there is no guarantee that I won't lose it again and have this cycle of fear slam dunk me...And there simply isn't a way to prevent it, so I'm working through it slowly as I realize this uncertainty could haunt me all the rest of my life...GAH.